RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Take a gander at the list of more than 1,300 potential hormone disrupting chemicals just released by researchers at The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, and you may not feel overly concerned at first. You might think, "Glyphosate? Dimethylbenzene? Benzoic acid? What's that got to do with me, and what exactly is a hormone disruptor, anyway?"
But the truth is, many of these industrial chemicals (which were never adequately tested for long-term health effects before being introduced to the general public) have found their way into products we come into contact with each and every day—pesticides in food, on our lawns, and inside our homes. These chemicals also lurk in food preservatives, in household dust, and in household products ranging from hairspray and shampoo to air fresheners and candles. Depending on when we're exposed, researchers now believe that certain hormone disruptors can set us up not only for developmental problems early in life, but also for hormone-related problems like obesity, infertility, certain cancers, and diabetes that may not surface until decades after exposure. Hormone-disrupting chemicals throw off our bodies' intricate systems for developing and regulating our bodily systems; these chemicals mess with our ability to function in a way our bodies did pre-Industrial Revolution.
THE DETAILS: For years, The Endocrine Disruption Exchange staff has been poring over thousands of published scientific studies to build this list of more than 1,300 potentially hormone-disrupting chemicals. For a chemical to make the cut, at least one scientific study had to show that the chemical had hormone disruption effects. However, Carol Kwiatkowski, PhD, executive director and senior research associate at The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, says researchers found multiple studies indicating hormone disruption as an effect of many of the chemicals listed. And this list is just the tip of the iceburg. "We had to stop somewhere so we could share this list, but we're already working on adding more chemicals," Kwiatkowski says.